How to structure your speech for a Moot Court Competition

Introduction

Mooting is a very popular co-curricular activity in Law Schools. Mooting not only helps in improving your researching, drafting and oratory skills but it also develops a lot of soft skills like confidence, communication, team work, etc. A lot of students seek to participate in prestigious Moot Court Competitions like the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, Price Media Law Moot Court Competition, Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition, etc. However, only a few know about the knowledge, skills and hard work required to win such great Moot Court Competitions. Therefore, Legally Flawless brings to you the Complete Guide to Moot Court Competitions.

This article is especially for those students who are going to participate in moot court competitions for the first time. This article will help you prepare the speech for the oral rounds and stand out from the croud.

To be a good Speaker, one need not necessarily use a lot of flowery words. However, there are a few words or what we call the court mannerism that need to be abided by. Here is a step by step guide for you to excel at your oral rounds.

Step 1: Take permission before begining

Speaker: The counsel seeks permission to approach the Dias.

Once the Judge nods / says in affirmation granting you the permission to approach the dias then say “Much Obliged

Nowadays, many competitions are held online and therefore you can leave the above step if the moot court competition you are participating is held virtually.

Step 2: Greet the Judges

Speaker: Goodmorning to the Hon’ble bench.

Now, if only male judges or only lady judges are present then you can use the following phrase:

Speaker: If it may please, the counsel seeks permission to address the bench as your Lordship / Ladyship.

Then say: “Much Obliged your Lordship.”

When the bench consists of both male and female judges:

Speaker: The counsel recognizes the gracious presence of your Ladyship, however, for the convenience of the proceedings, the counsel seeks permission to address the bench as your Lordship/ Ladyship.

Then say: “Much obliged your Lordship/ Ladyship”

Step 3: Begin with the name of the case and jurisdiction

Speaker: The counsel is appearing before the Hon’ble Court in the matter of ABC v.  XYZ, on behalf of the Appellants/Petitioner under …………………….. (whatever your jurisdiction is).

If you are the Respondent or Defendant, then you may say: The counsel is appearing before the Hon’ble Court in the matter of ABC v.  XYZ, on behalf of the Respondents in response to the petition/ appeal filed under (whatever your jurisdiction is).

Step 4: Let the Judge know the Issues involved

Speaker: Your Lordships, there are three (change it according to the number of issues present in your case) main issues involved in the present case.

The counsel will be dealing with the first and the second issue and would be speaking for  _____ mins, and the co-counsel would be dealing with the third issue and would speak for ____ mins, respectfully reserving _____ mins for the rebuttals. [The time limit for each speaker would be told to the team before the rounds. So, you need to make the changes accordingly. ]

Step 5: Let the Judge know the Facts of the case

Speaker: The counsel seeks permission to begin with the Statements of Facts.

Much Obliged your Lordship

[You can state the statement of facts during the prelims. However, for the quarters/ Semi-finals/ Finals, the speaker can directly ask if your lordship are well versed with the facts, the counsel seeks permission to proceed with the pleadings.]

Note: Make your you state only relevant facts. Also, do not extend your facts for more than 30 seconds.

Step 6: Proceed with the Pleadings

Speaker: The counsel seeks permission to proceed with the pleadings.

Your lordship, the first issue is……., which the counsel would be establishing on three grounds (grounds are your sub-issues). You first list down your grounds and then you say that, proceeding with the first Issue….

For Example:

If your argument is that the new Law violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India, then the pleadings would be:

Your lordship, the first issue is that the new Law violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India, which the counsel would be establishing on three grounds,

First, the new law is arbitrary

Secondly, there is no rational nexus with the object of the new law

Thirdly, the new law is not based on intelligible differentia

Make sure to refer the judges to your memorial and the moot problem to keep him/her engaged in between your speech.

After the first speaker is done, he/she will have to say your lordships, now the co-counsel would be dealing with the third issue.

Step 7: Let the Second Speaker begin and conclude with the Prayer

Second Speaker: if your lordships are satisfied with the pleading submitted in the 1st and the 2nd issue, the counsel seeks permission to begin with the pleadings for the 3rd issue.

[However this can also act against you. If you feel the judges are not getting convinced with the first speaker, don’t even ask this, directly start with the 3rd issue]

And then take permission for prayer which should be absolutely memorized.

After you are done with your prayer, you may say, it was pleasure arguing before the court.

Step 8: Some tips to keep in mind

  • Make sure the speech sounds natural.
  • Be clear with the basics on which the Judges may grill you.
  • Say indeed your lordship and certainly not your lordship.
  • If there comes a situation where the judges are grilling you and you din’t have much time left to complete your arguments or issue, then ask the Judges for a minute or two to just sum up your arguments. Even if you have two minutes left you will have to speed up with only the most relevant points.

ALL THE BEST!

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Disclaimer

All efforts are made to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information published at Legally Flawless. However, Legally Flawless shall not be responsible for any errors caused due to oversight or otherwise. The students are advised to check an opportunity themselves before applying.

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